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Blu-ray Update Sent To User Via Credit Card Records

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the allright-that's-just-plain-scary dept.

Privacy 526

wmoyes writes "Back in September I ran into a Best Buy store to buy a Samsung BD-P2550 Blu-ray player. I didn't give the clerk my name, telephone number, or address, just my debit card. The player has sat happily in my living room without ever being networked or registered. Today I was shocked to find a package waiting for me at home from Best Buy — inside was a firmware update CD for the player. I used to think Windows Update was scary, but Samsung's update service tracked me to my house using the mag stripe from my bank card. Has this happened to any other Blu-ray owners?" Or is there a simpler explanation?

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Customer information sharing (5, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26371989)

From the sound of this [usnews.com] , Samsung or Best buy are not to blame as much as your credit card issuer is for sharing your information. Choice quote:

First, the facts: The Chase policy, which is similar to those of many other credit card companies, states: "You may tell us not to share information about you with non-financial companies outside of our family of companies. Even if you do tell us not to share, we may do so as required or permitted by law..."

According to the Wikipedia article, the credit card number, expiration date, and PIN verification info. I've seen tweekers do it with stolen cards. Magstripe readers are available for 50 bucks online.

Re:Customer information sharing (1)

chipmeister (802507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372127)

It seems unlikely Best Buy or any other merchant would share your credit card information wiht Samsung as this would violate their agreement with the card associations (e.g. Visa, Mastercard). I also doubt a merchant woudl even chare your name with the merchant as they would want to prevent direct sales. They want you back in the store. There is most likely some other thing at work here.

Re:Customer information sharing (1)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372733)

Since when was the merchant's agreement something that large stores care about? Apple has been doing this with the iPhone lately and, considering Best Buy's track record, I wouldn't be surprised if they just handed Samsung all the information they could ever used.

Re:Customer information sharing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372151)

I think it's more likely that he gave the cashier his Reward Zone [bestbuy.com] card and is neglecting to remember that piece of information.

Re:Customer information sharing (4, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372183)

I tend to believe that sometime in the past you ordered something from Best Buy and perhaps gave them more information at that time. Perhaps you even had a home delivery of a bulky item.
            If they are doing data mining at the level you think that they are I tend to say congratulations to them for "going modern".
            The joy of data collection is that the general public should have the same power to collect data as companies do. Putting information in the hands of the public is sort of like putting Al Franklin in the senate. One knows that a shoe is about to drop.

Re:Customer information sharing (2)

spud603 (832173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372657)

I assume you mean Al Franken [alfranken.com] , and not Al Franklin [fdu.com] .

Re:Customer information sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372233)

Actually, that's standard language in pretty much every privacy policy in the world. In other words, privacy policies are a crock of shit.

you know who your customers are (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372389)

I have a merchant credit card account for V,MC,D, you know the telephone swipe box that sits on the store counter.

It's pretty easy for the merchant, BestBuy whoever, to get your name and address from it. Samsung asked BestBuy to pass on the update to whoever purchased the SKU. It's a tremendous courtesy, actually.

There is no privacy. Get over it. No matter how much the Planned Parenthood robots babble about the "Right to Privacy" whenever abortion is discussed. I know where my customers live. And Planned Parenthood rents its mailing lists to (mostly) liberal interests. Except for the one time it rented them to Newt Gingrich's Contract With America. Hey, it worked.

You have no clue about mailing lists. I hope I scared you.

Re:Customer information sharing (1)

saintsfan (1171797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372393)

"which will decrease the number of companies that know your name, your address, your buying patterns, and in some cases, even your Social Security number." yeah, that doesn't sound right. take that article with a grain, it sounds too extreme. you can sue a company for invation of privacy once we start talking real personally identifiable info like a social.

Re:Customer information sharing (4, Informative)

wmoyes (215662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372469)

My guess is that they (Best Buy) cross referenced the name they read from my credit card to one of the bulk mail lists they purchased for marketing purposes. The letter was addressed to me 'or current resident' and inside was information about how my player with this new firmware update could download Netflix movies. The update CD itself was for my specific model (BD-P2550).

The other possibility is that they cross-referenced my in store purchase via the card number to a previous on-line purchase from their web store (which would have included a shipping address). In either case, the mag stripe of my card (in an otherwise anonymous transaction) was used to make the connection, and four months later a package with a firmware update arrives at my house.

Re:Customer information sharing (0)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372581)

Contact the local news.

In a time where identity theft and warrant-less wiretapping are at the forefront of the public consciousness, you have the potential of sparking a media firestorm which could result in FTC and/or congressional action.

Re:Customer information sharing (3, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372703)

Even without credit card part, this story is quite interesting. There are annoying DRM systems. There are pain-in-the-ass DRM systems. But then, miles above all this, there is that ultimate sometimes-go-to-the-shop-and-take-firmware-update-CD-and-unbrick-your-player-again DRM that almost renders any owner of such device as total moron.

Do you see the black car parked outside? (5, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26371993)

The midget in the back seat of the Lincoln crawls in your basement window at night, and takes inventory of your firmware revisions on all your hardware.

He then runs to the forest to find out what updates you might need.

Don't talk to him, it sounds like he's talking backwards.

1/14/04 NEVER FORGET!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372007)

oh how we miss you our brother in arms

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GOATSE [wikipedia.org]

Hmm.. (1)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372015)

I'm really curious as to whether or not this would be legal..

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372735)

Even if it is - it is also interesting in another way - it may mean that fraudsters can gain access to a lot additional personal information allowing for identity theft and online fraud.

I would call it information abuse.

We know where you are. (4, Funny)

SrWebDeveloper (1419361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372019)

BTW, you need to replace that printer cartridge in the computer room on the first floor, and we have photographs of your youngest daughter going to school. Have a nice day, we'll be in touch.

Re:We know where you are. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372405)

you need to replace that printer cartridge in the computer room on the first floor, and we have photographs of your youngest daughter going to school

You should not use a comma before the word "and".

Sincerely,

The Grammar Nazi

Re:We know where you are. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372489)

you need to replace that printer cartridge in the computer room on the first floor, and we have photographs of your youngest daughter going to school.

You should not use a comma before the word "and".

Huh? "you need [...] floor" is an independent clause, and so is "we have [...] school". Joining two independent clauses with "and" requires a comma.

Re:We know where you are. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372579)

Yes he should have a comma.

"you need to replace that printer cartridge in the computer room on the first floor"

and

"we have photographs of your youngest daughter going to school"

...are standalone sentences. Both have subjects and verbs, making them complete thoughts. "You" and "need" are the necessary components of the first sentence. "We" and "have" are the components of the second sentence. The author would only omit the comma if the sentence referred to a grouping of two objects.

e.g. "You need to replace that printer cartridge in the computer room on the first floor and the photographs of your youngest daughter going to school."

As you can see, this changes the meaning entirely.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_sentence_(linguistics) [wikipedia.org]

--The Grammar Communist

Re:We know where you are. (1, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372681)

We concur. -The Grammar Oligarchists

Re:We know where you are. (1)

sproot (1029676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372775)

And yet the wiki page you reference clearly states that the comma is optional.
So you're both wrong, OP can suit him(her)self.

Re:We know where you are. (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372611)

Sincerely,

The [Wannabe] Grammar Nazi

Re:We know where you are. (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372763)

Yes, you should. It is combining two complete clauses. If both clauses were short, it would be optional, but it is always correct to use a comma in this case.

If you want to complain about something, complain about the comma splice in the last sentence. It should either be a period (followed by a capital letter) or a semicolon.

--David the Grammarian

P.S. Just to bring this back on topic, if you want to make it a lot harder for this to happen, use a prepaid credit card and pay with cash.

Note: there are two short clauses in that last sentence. :-)

Cash (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372029)

This is why I use federal reserve notes for everything I can. I bought my Wii with federal reserve notes. I bought my PS3 with federal reserve notes.

--
End The Fed [endthefed.us]

Re:Cash (4, Funny)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372135)

That's funny, whenever I give people cash for presents, I refer to it as a "federal reserve gift card". The best part is, it never expires! Though I recommend spending it quick because it seems to lose its value over time....

Re:Cash (4, Funny)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372139)

You should switch to Liberty Dollar's (http://www.libertydollar.org/) to show your contempt for the government as well.

Re:Cash (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372329)

You should switch to Liberty Dollar's (http://www.libertydollar.org/) to show your contempt for the government as well.

I have a supply of those, but stores don't accept them. Thats why I use federal reserve notes. My savings "account", however, is gold coins.

Re:Cash (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372145)

This is why I use federal reserve notes for everything I can.

That might not be as sure-fire as you think...

http://newsmine.org/content.php?ol=security/police-militarization/bestbuy-shopper-arrested-for-two-dollar-bills.txt [newsmine.org]

Re:Cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372283)

I don't pay for things with $2 bills.

I frequently use $2 bills (2, Insightful)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372687)

I dine out at a local eatery and they give change in 50c and $2 bills as appropriate based on your order. I tend to re-use the bills at other local places, and usually get some combination of NOOP and Cool! I've never had any issues, but also don't tend to hand them to someone who may die due to drooling on themselves.

Re:Cash (2, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372291)

Or this case, [blogspot.com] which might possibly result in a SCOTUS ruling requiring cops to use their brains before using their cuffs.

Re:Cash (2, Interesting)

Skreems (598317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372513)

The cashier in the story was quite incorrect. They can refuse a sale with notes they don't want ($2 bills, pennies, etc) but cannot refuse any legal tender as settlement of a debt.

Re:Cash (1)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372521)

Does anyone know what happened to the poor guy? I remember reading about this incident when it happened, but never anything after that. I hope he sued the hell out of BestBuy man. That's just crap! I don't know if he could sue the police too, but I would hope so. I mean what a ginormous cluster f#%k!

2$ bills and Woz (1)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372585)

Steve Wozniak (the other founder of Apple) used to keep a special book of US$2.00 bills that he had made from bills that hadn't been cut. He then had them perforated so that he could tear them out like checks for payment.

You can read the full story in his words here: http://woz.org/letters/general/78.html [woz.org]

Re:$2 Bills (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372713)

When I worked in retail sales in the early nineties, Computer printers were making good enough images to encourage some idiots to try passing home-made bills as real. One easy way to distinguish the fakes was by rubbing a piece of white paper over the "bill", then checking the paper for ink transfer. Treasury ink never fully dries, and even old funky bills will transfer a little green smudge to the white paper. Brand new bills, like the Twos that we stocked in the slot between the Ones and Fives, would make a major smear if you tried that, even though most of them we had were printed in 1976. I learned how fun it was to baffle the ignorant with the unfamiliar money, and usually get $100 or so in Twos when I get cash from my bank. I think they are especially useful for tipping service providers, it seems to help them remember me favorably on subsequent interactions.

Re:Cash (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372789)

Got kicked out of a Kroger's once by the assistant manager for paying with a two. Same deal, but his reasoning was amusing as hell.

"What? You never heard the term 'fake as a 2-dollar bill'?!?! Now get out of my store!"

One call to corporate, and the idiot wouldn't even look in the eye whenever I shopped there afterwards. I still laugh about it.

Re:Cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372209)

This is why I use federal reserve notes for everything I can. I bought my Wii with federal reserve notes. I bought my PS3 with federal reserve notes.

-- End The Fed [endthefed.us]

Irony?

Re:Cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372331)

Hey bone heads that did NOT read his post properly...he said DEBIT card NOT credit card, there is a difference.
There is no personal information transmitted via a debit card. The only way they would have had his personal information is if he gave it to them or a member of his family registered their number/info with Best Buy during a previous purchase. If he gave them his name or phone number, they would have linked that to the information they currently had on record.
The simplest explanation is sometimes the correct one.

Geesh

Re:Cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372425)

Your bank account and bank info is used with the debt card. Maybe the bank sent the info?

Federal Reserve Notes (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372693)

This is why I use federal reserve notes for everything I can. I bought my Wii with federal reserve notes. I bought my PS3 with federal reserve notes.

What are these Federal Reserve Notes you are talking about?
Where do I get them & can I pay for these Federal Reserve Notes
using my Credit Card?

Actually, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372035)

You did register with them last year...

Sixth Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372041)

s1xt4 p0st...

OMG. (0, Troll)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372047)

This is almost as scary as the word googlesoft. THE HORROR!

Extended Warranty Tracking (1)

JamJam (785046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372057)

Did you purchase the Best Buy Extended Warranty? if so perhaps they tracked you through that...

You've been pirated (4, Interesting)

Atreide (16473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372065)

That is great news

if someone ever use your credit card number,
YOU receive the driver upgrade.
then you know something wrong happened

You signed the paper (1)

imp7 (714746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372071)

You have been owned.

Prior use? (4, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372081)

Have you EVER used that debit card at the same store and provided your address or phone number? If you've ever done that then they have that information readily available.

Re:Prior use? (1)

EnergySmithe (883373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372155)

This would make sense if you are a member of the Best Buy Rewards Program, and used your card (to get reward points). Best Buy does not even give you extended warranty information anymore... it is all handled via that account.

Re:Prior use? (1)

Drum_Addict (1405837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372181)

And to add to that, since they have a frequent buyer / discount program, they most likely do the lookup automatically each time.

Re:Prior use? (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372199)

When ever a store asks for a phone number or zipcode for their demographics database, I alway give them something bogus, but valid. I usually give them my old APO zipcode from when I was stationed overseas.

Re:Prior use? (1)

saintsfan (1171797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372335)

was thinking the same thing, that it probably has something to do with previously being a customer online or something where they obtained your address like filling out a warrenty or something. imagine the phone call from bestbuy to the bank- "hi i am trying to obtain the address of one of your customers." "what? why?" "to send them a product update" it just doesnt sound right

It wasn't from your debit card (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372093)

The blueray player used the nearest WiFi access point (it can hack into secured ones). It sent its GPS position, which was cross referenced to your address at the server. It has also been sending information about all the discs you have put in it, whether you played them or not. You haven't put any pirate stuff in there, have you?

In addition, on the HDMI back channel it has been gathering information about what you watch on TV, and reporting that as well. The company sells this information to Nielson.

And you wondered why that player was so expensive.

it's the credit report agencies (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372103)

This is not unusual. I have benefited from several class action suits where they have somehow tracked me down years after the fact, which is particularly impressive because as a student/young professional/grad student, I moved almost every year.

What probably happens is they give the debit card number (which is unique and remains unique long after you cancel/close the account) to a credit reporting agency (e.g. Equifax), and the credit agency has a record of your most recent address, which they got when you changed your address at your bank or any of your other credit cards.

Re:it's the credit report agencies (2, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372159)

Credit reporting agencies may have updated information on your whereabouts but the law restricts them to report only with your permission and only for legitimate purposes. The financial penalties are severe. Therefore, I doubt that BestBuy or Samsung walked around pulling the credit reports of hundreds or thousands of consumers without their permission just to send an update disk.

Re:it's the credit report agencies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372831)

Section 604(a)(3)(F)(i) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act [ftc.gov] :

In general, any consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report under the following circumstances: To a person which it has reason to believe ... has a legitimate business need for the information in connection with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer.

Don't panic. (5, Interesting)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372115)

The 'update' DVD came from Best Buy, not the manufacturer- of course Best Buy has access to your home address, via your credit card. Samsung probably just shipped a bunch of discs to Best Buy, asking them to mail them out to owners of the player. No big conspiracy or identity theft going on, so relax.

Re:Don't panic. (3, Insightful)

wmoyes (215662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372235)

Yes, it was Best Buy who shipped the update DVD, not Samsung. But still... an update service who ships updates to you based on your mag stripe. Scary.

Re:Don't panic. (4, Funny)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372323)

Scary?

Not really. What if that player had a tendency to explode after 25 hours of use. Would you want to be notified of the recall?

Basic customer data mining has been around for ages. Pretty much ever since Mr. Drucker asked after your health and crop prospects in the general store. :)

Or pillow talk after the very first prostitution transaction...depends how far back you want to go.

Note, I'm not defending intrusive data mining.

Re:Don't panic. (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372503)

Yes, it was Best Buy who shipped the update DVD, not Samsung. But still... an update service who ships updates to you based on your mag stripe. Scary.

Your name's in plain text on the mag stripe, so if you gave up your zip code, they could find you unless you're a Smith or Jones (or Lee or Gonzales depending on geography). I'm guessing that there are only about 3000-4000 persons per 5-digit zip. Probably easy to get a unique result for most people, but you could try the public search sites on your own name and zip for fun to find out.

Re:Don't panic. (1, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372249)

of course Best Buy has access to your home address, via your credit card.

Of course? WTF? If the issuing bank gave a shit about customer privacy, it would "no fucking way" not "of course." When I go into Best Buy and pay with cash, they don't get my billing address, the same thing should apply when using a credit card. They certainly do not have a legitimate need to know my billing address without first asking for my permission.

Re:Don't panic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372385)

When I go into Best Buy and pay with cash, they don't get my billing address, the same thing should apply when using a credit card.

Right, because cash and credit are exactly the same.

Or, perhaps, once they have the cash, they don't need to worry about additional security?

Re:Don't panic. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372561)

they don't need to worry about additional security?

What, "security" as in after the guy who stole your card buys $5000 in stereos and TVs with it, they send thugs around to your house to collect when you dispute the charges?

Re:Don't panic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372667)

What, "security" as in after the guy who stole your card buys $5000 in stereos and TVs with it, they send thugs around to your house to collect when you dispute the charges?

If that card is a credit card, the consumer is not liable for fraudulent charges. Best Buy would have to very stupid to try and collect on a reversed charged especially one that was fraudulent. They could try to pursue "the guy who stole your card" but you would be in the clear. Disputing charges is trivial. Last dispute I had the credit card company just gave me the $4 to make me go away. No paperwork.

Re:Don't panic. (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372261)

But even that's wrong. There's no reason for Best Buy to know your address. They know the creditor's address, and the creditor has certified the transaction. If there's a problem with the funds, that's between the creditor and you. Best Buy is out of that loop.

Re:Don't panic. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372451)

Most retail stores put your information into their database when you make a purchase.

The first time you purchase from a company you'll usually be asked your name, address, and phone number before making the purchase no matter how you're paying.

Same thing with online orders as well.
Even if you don't tell it to remember your information it's still in a record somewhere.

I'm personally not too worried about it.

Re:Don't panic. (5, Informative)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372437)

of course Best Buy has access to your home address, via your credit card.

This would not be the case in Belgium. In fact it is even illegal to do it that way. If I give only my credit card details, all they will have is the following information:
Last 4 numbers of the credit card (We are not allowed to keep the credit card number anywhere)
The name of the credit card holder and the expiration date.
From the transaction itself the time, amount, item and card. (e.g. visa)
Some extra information related to the payment itself an the communication concerning the payment.

No link there with the users address. So unless we link it elsewhere with the address, we would have no idea what that would be. Calling the company will result in nothing but wasted time for both as they are not allowed by law to tell us the address.

Re:Don't panic. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372631)

Yeah. Probably...
The scary scenario is just one breach of trust from your scenario. Apparently Best Buy then maes a database of consumer addresses which tracks their buys. Is that such a stretch to imagine that they have commercial deals to share this database ? What is to prevent them selling it ? Such a consumer database is worth gold.

Re:Don't panic. (1)

alphad0g (1172971) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372801)

Actually, BestBuy does not have access to your home address via your credit card. Credit Card companies don't give this out to merchants unless their is some type of fraud investigation. If this is a debit card that is issued by a local bank, then it is even less likely that a merchant could get your address.

As mentioned elsewhere, you probably bought something else, in the past, at BB and they had your name and address already associated to your CC number.

There is no address stored on a mag stripe.

No (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372119)

No. I own the same player and no updates, but I would really be happy if that happened in my case.

And there's nothing scary with Windows update. Just look and see how almost any other OS out there, Linuzz distros inclusive, are now using the same kind of service.

Data Mining.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372141)

Many companies subscribe to data mining services that put turn your credit card number back into contact details.

Depending on your choice of grocer... they'll even track what brand of condoms you use and how many boxes you buy in a month (year).

Re:Data Mining.... (1)

CDOS_CDOS run (669823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372421)

Come on, most of these people on /. don't even know what a condom is much less actually use one. :-)

Oh, btw... (1)

The Famous Druid (89404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372169)

It's time to throw out that milk in your fridge.

Why not to buy anything Sony (or Blu-ray) (0, Flamebait)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372243)

Sony has lost all my business forever, since the cd root kit fiasco a couple of years ago. As for Blu-Ray, I refuse to purchase any consumer device that REQUIRES me to install some so-called upgrade. The fact that you cannot play some newer media without upgrading in the case of blu-ray, just raises my hackles.

In this case, I think there is a matter of invasion of privacy. I can understand why they might send you an upgrade after registering the product, but HOW IN THE EARTH'S GOOD NAME DO THEY KNOW YOU HAVEN'T PURCHASED IT AS A PRESENT FOR SOMEONE ELSE?! Such maroons...

In any case, I personally would boycott the store that did this. This situation shows that they have absolutely no respect for the privacy rights of their customers.

Personal Information and Tracking you down (1)

ekimminau (775300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372245)

When you cashed out, you gave Best Buy your phone number, too. Every Best Buy cashier asks for it when they start your transaction. With a phone number, and/or a credit card number, anyone could find you.

Re:Personal Information and Tracking you down (3, Informative)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372321)

As they say on Wikipedia, "citation needed". I've bought a hundreds of things at BB, and even worked there for a spell when I was between real jobs; never once was I asked for my phone number during a purchase.

Re:Personal Information and Tracking you down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372577)

It must be restricted by your state/county laws then. I've always been asked my phone number here in NY. Its for their rewards program, but you can always say its private and they skip past it.

Are you a reward zone member? (2, Insightful)

Kuang_Grade (820687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372271)

If you have signed up with best buy's reward zone program and have used that credit card at least once with your reward zone card, they will know it is you...even if you didn't flash your reward zone card during the purchase of your blu ray player. Likewise, if you sent a rebate to best buy (although not necessarily to a 3rd party) using that credit card, its likely they will know it is you. Similar things happened with people who bought HD DVD players at best buy...when HD DVD was killed off, best buy decided to send folks $50 gift cards as a 'sorry things didn't work out with HD DVD' gesture...they mostly fed off info they already had from reward zone, rebates, or extended warranties to send the cards out.

MDM (1)

Nerftoe (74385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372309)

Best Buy is a pro at MDM, and have been for a few years now. They have a record of everyone's purchases and actions at Best Buy who hasn't paid for a purchase in cash. Even those cash purchases are tracked if the person uses a rewards zone card. They know which credit cards you have used at each location, they know if you are a sucker for warranties, and they know if you have a tendency to bring stuff back after a few weeks. They digest every piece of identifiable information that you have so they can target you, the consumer, in a more profitable manner.

So... (4, Interesting)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372311)

Once people get used to this, what keeps naughty people from sending out legitimate looking upgrade disks that scramble your player or install software that lets them use your network connected player as a spam server? Urgh, basically virus laden spam for snail mail.

Re:So... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372453)

Once people get used to this, what keeps naughty people from sending out legitimate looking upgrade disks that scramble your player or install software that lets them use your network connected player as a spam server? Urgh, basically virus laden spam for snail mail.

I'd actually suggest linking this story in the irc chats of militant anti-drm groups : )

and don't mention it to any consumer groups until it has already been abused.

And what is wrong with this? (4, Informative)

$1uck (710826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372345)

You purchase an item on Credit you're entering into an agreement to pay for something they are going to want to know your billing address so that they can verify payment. If you're that concerned about your privacy you need to not enter into such agreements and pay for everything with cash (which protects both sides). As a side note isn't this potentially a good thing that they sent you an update? You can decide not to use it if you fear its updating drm as opposed to improving the product.

Re:And what is wrong with this? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372533)

Can you explain for us dummies which part of using a debit card to buy something involves purchasing an item on Credit?

Re:And what is wrong with this? (1)

midicase (902333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372749)

A merchant does not receive your billing address to verify who you are. Merchants can submit your address with the approval request to allow the credit processor to validate whether it is a legitimate transaction. Think punching in your Zip when at the fuel pump.

Receiving an update by mail sounds more like the result of having registered something under warranty. Did he send that card in?

PCI violation? (1)

hicks107 (1286642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372351)

I wonder if this is a violation of the very strict Payment Card Industry policies.

Blatant and common PCI violation, actually (2, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372783)

Numerous companies either breach the policies or work around them.

Tthere was a big flap last year when the parent company of Winners and Home Sense was found to have been capturing all their customer's credit card numbers, which are supposed to be passed directly the the banks' clearing house without ever being seen by the retailer. See http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2007/01/18/winnersbreach.html [www.cbc.ca]

Yes, they got stolen (;-))

--dave

Yo mama (0, Troll)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372359)

Your mom probably filled in the product warrantee card and sent it in.

P.S. She's fat.

Moral to this story (1, Redundant)

GottMitUns (1012191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372379)

Is ALWAYS PAY CASH!

You're all right. (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372427)

AMEX, Mastercard and Visa are more than happy to give the merchants your data - fees vary, if any. And there's nothing preventing Best Buy from sending Samsung a list of everyone who bought the product for any reason. Don't like it? Pay with cash.

These updates are scary! (5, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372441)

A similar thing happened to me. I bought a blu-ray player, then one day I came home and found my house ransacked and my blu-ray player was gone. I'm still waiting for Samsung to send my blu-ray player back with the updates. I don't have any problems with these companies being vigilant about their update services. I just really wish they wouldn't spraypaint swastikas on my furniture.

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372447)

test

Check you card for any bill BB wants $30 to do thi (4, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372519)

Check you card for any bill BB wants $30 to do this.

http://consumerist.com/5122504/watch-out-for-firmware-shenanigans-at-best-buy [consumerist.com]

Re:Check you card for any bill BB wants $30 to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372737)

No, Best Buy wants $30 to install the update for you. It's a service for people who cant follow simple instructions on how to do this update. Think of the $30 as a stupid tax.

Best Buy cant just mail you things and bill you for it.

Your name is on the card! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26372539)

Since your name is on the card, it is also probably on the mag stripe. When they scanned it, they got your name. Then they probably looking it up in some database which also contains your address. Where did they get that address? It could be a catalog mailing list, it could be a rewards program, or it could be you had given them your address for a rebate once. Maybe they found you in the phone book, even.

dom

Samsung p1500 (2, Interesting)

diablo6683 (556085) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372573)

I purchased the p1500 about 3 months ago (piece of crap) and returned it 24 hours later (it was incapable of playing the iron man bluray). I upgraded to the ps3 and haven't had a problem since. LIke the original poster I didn't give them a name or anything other than paying with my debit card (which apparently is tantamount to giving them your name address date of birth, ss#, eye color, height, weight and sexual orientation), about a month after i returned it, i received a letter in the mail from samsung asking me to complete an online questionnaire about my experience with the p1500. Not the same as the OP, but samsung still knew where i lived even though i gave my debit info to best buy. So who's to blame here, samsung or best buy?

I have, with Sirius (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372617)

For a birthday present last year, my parents renewed my Sirius subscription. This year, after the merger, they sent a notice in the credit card statement for my parents that they were consolidating payments for all the radios I have into one payment. I am not sure of the exact wording, but that is close enough. So it is not just Best Buy the credit card companies are helping out.

I would have preferred an email, as Sirius has my email address, and they also have my physical address so they could send me the attenuators for the FM transmitter in their radios. I see no reason for them to have put this in a credit card statement.

I had a similiar incident with Circuit City (5, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372635)

A few years ago there was an interesting device being sold that acted as an email dumb terminal. The device was sold sans any real license but the expectation by the vendor was that you would sign up for their service since otherwise the hardware was "useless". Except that folks figured out how to hack it and turn it into a remote terminal for various OS. I was interested....

I trotted down to my local Circuit City only to find that many others were also interested and that they were sold out. No worries, they let me go ahead and buy one and would let me know when stock arrived so that I could pick it up.

Meanwhile the company figured out what was going on and began trying to stop efforts to repurpose their hardware - unsuccessfully. I got a letter in the mail from the company a few weeks after I had made my purchase at CircuitCity. The letter was informing me that they had decided to change the license terms on their hardware - after my purchase, that signing up for their service was "mandatory", and that if I did not do so within X number of days or receiving my device they would CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD.

Now, I had never contacted this company, I had no intentions of ever dealing with them or of buying their service, and I had not shared my contact information with them. CircuitCity however HAD shared my name and home address with them and if the letter was to be believed was also willing to share my credit card account information to facilitate a charge! I trotted back down to the CircuitCity, canceled my order, and demanded an explanation - naturally they had NO clue.

I was beyond angry to say the least and fired off a letter to CircuitCity HQ. Their response was that no way did they share my CC information with this 3rd party but they said nothing about having shared my HOME ADDRESS! I let them know that I would never shop in their stores again and have told this story more times than I can count - it's been YEARS and I have held true to my promise not to give them a cent. Seeing them go under warms my heart - the jerks. The sad thing is that I nearly made this purchase with cash, I wish I had!

As a side note, the CircuitCity I went into was one I'd never visited as it was closer to work and not my home. When I gave them my phone number they had my complete address on file! Turns out that my girlfriend's daughter had shopped there about 3 years prior and made a single purchase. They STILL had our address on file tied to that phone number when I made my purchase. So yeah, these companies do cough up data and they also hold onto it a REALLY long time - thank you TJMax!

Tracking people (1)

toodeepforme (1370289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372757)

And to think that people used to be worried about personal information being gleaned about them through their IP address when they were surfing porn.

Another explanation (0)

kid_wonder (21480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26372777)

We all got that CD. The rest of us just had the good sense not to post it to /.

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